Veteran Knicks Forward, Amar’e Stoudemire, while consistently loyal to his team, the Knicks, may have a tough decision to make. The Wall Street Journal says that since the New York Knicks have had an unexpectedly poor showing, and since Stoudemire is nearly at the end of a five year $100 million contract, he might move on, although he expresses ambivalence. “My loyalty has always been with New York and the Knicks. It will be a tough decision to make as far as going somewhere else at this point. It’s something I have to think about.”
Stoudemire has been hobbled with many leg injuries. He says he has to be “strong enough and prepared to play for a team contending for a championship.” He also notes that he is 35, and he thinks the Knicks is interested in grooming younger players. Still, Knicks coach Derek Fisher, according to the New York Post, had glowing praise for Stoudemire, and said he was a “professional in the truest sense of the word.” While his leg injuries may seem like a liability, they tested his strength of character, and Fisher said, “That says a lot about who he is. You want guys on your team like that.”
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While Stoudemire has considered playing for HaPoel Jerusalem, a team he partly owns, when his contract expires, he also expressed interest in remaining in the NBA if his knees hold up. Stoudemire missed 9 consecutive games because of a swollen knee.
Amar’e Stoudemire had a troubled childhood. His family moved from Florida to upstate New York, where his mother picked apples, but she was also in and out of prison for forgery and petty theft. In 2010, Stoudemire said in an interview, “I have been aware since my youth that I am Hebrew through my mother, and that has played a subtle but important part in my development.” He traveled to Israel to “get a better understanding of my heritage.” He was named assistant coach for Canada for the Maccabiah games and was urged to join the Israeli national basketball team by Shimon Peres.